Greenland storm paddle

Those who use a Greenland paddle do you carry a storm paddle? Do you use it more than just a spare? Some Greenland paddlers I see carry a two piece Euro paddle as a spare I’m guessing because the Euro paddle will fit on the deck. I really like my Greenland paddle but I’ve spent very little time paddling with a storm paddle and I’m not too comfortable with the sliding hand technique.

If I lost or broke my Greenland paddle I’d probably be more comfortable with a Euro paddle than a storm paddle.

Any thoughts?


Two GPs
I always carry two Greenland paddles. No storm. No Euro. One of the GPs has significantly less surface area than the other - for headwinds and fighting current. My GPs fit nicely on the foredeck tucked under perimeter line and bungies.

I carry a storm paddle all the time
It’s primarily a spare, but it’s also great in tight places, like sea caves. I occasionally use it in windy conditions and make it a point to use it periodically just to maintain comfort with the sliding stroke.

I often do
I paddle primarily with a Euro blade, but will often carry a storm on my front deck.

If you lose your paddle or it breaks, etc, while on the water, the storm is the most easily accessible and ready to put into use immediately.

I once broke my paddle while upside down in clapotis in the ocean and could not roll up (blade broke off on the bottom). I was able to get my storm paddle off my front deck while upside down and roll up with it, retrieve my broken paddle, and then paddle to shore where I got my spare Euro blade off my back deck.

would be pretty hard to do that with a Euro blade. Hence the ubeatable utility of a storm paddle as a backup.


Short paddle

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 4:51 PM EST –

Traditionally there was no storm paddle. You simply carried a spare that fit on the deck without getting in the way or overhanging. That said, measure the area that you prefer it to fit and you have your length. The loom commonly runs about six inches in length. The sliding stroke is most effective with this shorter paddle. It's a good idea to practise so you are comfortable using it in conditions.

Not really
"would be pretty hard to do that with a Euro blade"

Not that hard, rolling with half a euro paddle.

I’ll Get on Your Bandwagon
I don’t think the storm ‘beats’ the utility of a full sized Greenland paddle. I practice losing my primary paddle and retrieve my stowed paddle a lot… while upside down. Works like a charm. No sliding stroke necessary.

3 Piece GP
I use 2 GPs, one in the hand, one on the deck. I use 3 piece Northern Light Paddles. I carry the spare assembled, full size. One could break it down in two pieces as a spare, stick them together if needed. I have done this just to try and it works fine. There is a picture of this in the gallery at the NLP website.

Not hard to do with a Euro
True…not hard to roll with half a Euro…of course not. However, rolling up with it and then paddling off with half a Euro. Not so much. Putting together a Euro blade in clapotis…not so much. And do you carry your spare Euro on your front deck? I don’t. In surf it gets washed right off your deck, which is why I carry my spare Euro on the back deck where it it would be nearly impossible to access under water upside down.

Please correct me if I am wrong here.


spare on rear deck

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 10:47 PM EST –

"And do you carry your spare Euro on your front deck?"

I carry mine on the rear deck. I can get to it upside down. (I have the blade towards the cockpit, shaft towards the stern, so taking it out is relatively easy)

"However, rolling up with it and then paddling off with half a Euro. Not so much. Putting together a Euro blade in clapotis...not so much. "

Haven't tried paddling half a paddle in condition. I only tried it in flat water, use it like a canoe paddle. I can do control strokes with it (I did a bit of white water canoeing at one point) though power and speed is obvious seriously compromised.

Putting a euro blade together does takes a bit of time so definitely need to wait till condition allows.

My spare euro is different size than my touring paddle. I choose it as a "second gear" to complement my main blade. I use it about 30% of the time when condition favors it. If I were to carry a greenland storm, it would be IN ADDITION to my spare euro. I don't see that being practical. The rear deck would get awfully clustered and I probably end up not able to get to ANY of them when I really need them!

Storm Paddle
I always carry my storm paddle on the front deck. It is great in tight areas and I like to practice with it occasionly. I most often use it when euro paddlers want to try my Greenland paddle.

Greenland Storm Paddle

Greenland Storm Paddles
It’s not necessary to use a Euro-blade paddle as a deck paddle I make two piece GPs and storm paddles both of which fit on my deck. The sliding stroke can get pretty tiring if you need to keep it up on long distances.Check out my website for photos http/

True, however…
…I don’t like having a full-length paddle sticking out one side or the other of my foredeck. The storm fits flat and there’s nothing for waves to catch, so I know it will stay put in really rough conditions.

Matt - paddling with half is easy
Lots of folks just carry a single blade on the front deck. It is pretty easy if you practice. The only real drawback once you get used to it is that you can only brace on one side. So to resist going over on the paddle side you brace. And to resist going over on the off paddle side you pry.

It can be a lot of fun to tink around with half a paddle or a single blade. It you decide to get a single blade paddle I’d recommend getting a smaller one. For me a 48 inch paddle works best in the kayak.

What I’ve Found
If the perimeter line is pretty taut and I keep the paddle situated pretty far back it works. If I don’t get it right that ‘clack’ sound will get my attention right away.

paddling with half a blade…
As an avid flat and whitewater canoeist I am used to paddling with a single blade, but if I were to do so in a sea kayak in big conditions I would want it to have a T grip like a canoe paddle.

I did know a friend once who put a T grip on the end of the spare paddle he carried on his front deck. I would be okay with using that in conditions, but a storm paddle is easier in my opinion.

It also stays put on the front deck in all but the biggest conditions (unlike a Euro blade). I have only had my storm washed off the deck a coule of times and it was by some really, really big waves. The storm just sits flatter on the deck and is not as easily washed off for whatever reason.

As to storing multiple spares…I store my storm on the front deck and my spare Euro on the back. My only intention for the storm paddle is to use it as an emergency backup until I can get to my spare Euro. It is immediately accessible and able to be put into use to roll up and paddle to safety in big conditions.

A canoe paddle on the front deck would be another possible option, but I still would prefer the storm. It is easy to turn with quickly when extended, and super easy to roll with if you do get knocked over again.

Truly a great tool for any paddler, even if you are not a “Greenland” guy.


belt and suspender?
I really don’t see the point of the storm paddle if you’re already carrying a euro spare anyway. As others points out, you can paddle single bladed until you get to a spot calm enough to put the 2 half together. You might even be able to chase down your lost primary with your half paddle too.

If I were a greenlander, I’d carry ONLY the storm as a spare and practice the sliding hand paddle from time to time. Rather than the complicated approach of storm plus euro.

The truth is, how often do you break your paddle? Unless you’re doing rock gardening regularly, the chance of it isn’t very high. And if you do break it, you still have the storm as a back up. I don’t care to carry the kitchen sink on a day paddle. Perhaps if I’m on an expedition, I’d carry extra spare to back up my primary spare…

I always carry a full size greenland
paddle for a spare. Using a shorter greenland paddle with a sliding stroke is a nice way of changing up paddling techniques but when I’m in conditions that I might need my spare I only feel comfortable with a full size paddle for fast bracing.

How many times do you break your paddle?
Good point. Very rarely. I always wondered if I needed the spare storm paddle, but always carried it when I played in teh surf just in case my paddle got ripped out of my hands etc.

When I was upside down in the some big clapotis (that no one else in my group wanted to go into so I was out there alone) the storm saved me from a wet exit.

Frankly, in these conditions, I would omit the spare Euro blade before the storm. To me the storm is more than just a backup for a broken paddle, but also for when a paddle may get away from you or something.

It only takes a single time for that paddle to have been worth carrying all that time.

Paddling away with a half of a Euro blade paddle would be possible, but I really would really bet that 95% of paddlers could not do it in the big conditions. I would be a pay check on that, unless they were accomplished whitewater canoeists, and even then a half of a Euro blade is NOT the same as a canoe paddle.

I guess it depends on when and where you paddle. I like to paddle in very big conditions and often by myself. I paddle on days with 20 plus knot winds in the winter when temperatures are in the 30s on the bay by myself, and with others in the warmer weather playing around sand bars where an assisted rescue would be very difficult. To me a wet exit is not an option, and it is on these days that I like to take the Storm paddle.

So I think it depends a little on what kind of conditions you paddle in as to whether or not the half a Euro blade will work for you. I would not chance it myself.

For instance, while a half a Euro blade does work for paddling a kayak, do you switch sides with it or use some sort of a J stroke? I imagine you would switch sides. I would not want to be switching sides with a half a paddle in 8 foot braking waves would you? Especially without a T grip.

And what if you capsize while the paddle is on your “off side” Yes you may be able to roll on your off side, but what about rolling on your offside with half a paddle…the half that is oriented for your onside. In otherwords rolling on your left side with a paddle blade that is meant to be used on the right side of the kayak. Much harder to do, especially in big conditions. Basically I would argue that 99% of people would not be able to do it in conditions.

I really believe that realistically this is not a completely reliable backup plan if you are in big conditions. A spare canoe paddle on teh deck might be, but a spare half of a Euro blade i think would not get you to safety fast enough to rely on it in really big conditions.